When We Die 

 September 21, 2022

By  QJé composer

'When We Die' is a piece for contemplation. 
I used to produce records which were BIG in terms of production. Lots of sound, lots of notes. 
But that was then. Now I like to keep it simple (and it still sometimes runs away from me). 
'When We Die' started life as a languorous sequence of specially selected chords on the piano. And before I could finish it, the Queen (Elizabeth the second) went and died. 
This isn't a eulogy for her, it's a contemplation of sadness and acceptance. 
Please share with me how it makes you feel when you listen to it (comment below). 
Thank you.

This is the music...

And this is the background to the music... 

  • It conjures images of creeping around an old deserted, possibly haunted building at night time. Very resident evil style.
    I also like the way it never really resolves and you can’t predict what’s coming next.

  • I always enjoy pieces that go places you don’t expect it to. The dissonant places the vocal parts visit are beautiful and haunting. On the verge of disturbing yet inexplicably comforting at the same time. Joyful sorrow or sorrowful joy, I can’t decide, which is what makes this piece appeal to me most. Great work…

  • Other realmly, ethereal and light. I found acceptance here but not necessarily sadness.. it sparked inwards curiosity and reflection. I really enjoyed this one.

  • This is a dark piece with elements of sadness and reflection. There is a sense of one trying to navigate their way through the certainty of death but with the uncertainty of how we actually make that journey or what we may encounter. Does the tune fall away at times just as aspects of life can as we approach that time? To me it does. A deeply thoughtful creation – I liked it.

    • Thanks Scott. Really pleased to get your feedback. Please do share with others you think might like it. It’s hard to grow a following these days!

  • It’s a great piece and (as you say) the opening voice parts are slightly shocking. I like the sounds of the ‘real’ piano and it’s interesting to note that some of the high end digital pianos are imitating the instrumental resonance and sympathetic string resonance of the acoustic instruments. I’m less keen on the voice sound sample which to my ear is uneven. Though I like the way you’ve panned it around the image. I imagine it’s a sampled sound which sounds strained the further away it gets from its original sampled pitch. Perhaps it’s just my ears which have spent too many years working with children composing using sampled sound sets in Garage Band and Mixcraft. I think the best vox sound sets cost a lot of dosh though.

    • Thanks for the compliment, Matthew. I take onboard your opinion of the voice sound sample, and you’re absolutely right when you say it’s uneven: I kinda like that about it! Coming back into the digital domain for writing and production (I stopped recording in earnest back in the ’90s) I’m still wowed by the ubiquitous availability of ‘every sample under the sun’, and love playing with these samples to see what’s possible. As an ‘old school’ engineer, I perfected the art of mic placement and acoustic environment, which sadly is no longer a pre-requisite of recording success, but love innovation and ‘new’ ways of working. So to me, any sample that I like the sound of, could end up in one of my compositions. In fact, I would go further and say, ‘I’ll only use sounds that I like’. (I do love the real sound of voices too – of course).

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    QJé composer

    Hi I'm QJ - a composer of music and sonic art.
    My music is mostly dark, cold and unsettling.
    A theme park full of intense, scary rides, and sonic thrills.

    It's sometimes about social issues I feel strongly about.
    It's designed to elicit emotional responses.

    I hope you enjoy some of it.
    Please do leave your comment: I want to learn about how you react to music - especially mine (even if it makes you uncomfortable).

    Enjoy the roller-coaster! ... and big thanks.

    QJ Short Bio...
    Composing Music to be enjoyed purely as an emotional, imagination-triggering listening experience, and for Film & TV.

    Ex-Rock/Pop producer, artist and song-writer.
    Now Solo Artist/Producer (interested in collaborative projects).

    Former Chorister, Classical Pianist & Rock Guitarist/Keyboard player / session musician.
    Former Song-Writer, Record Producer, Label Owner.
    PRS member. Music Publisher. High Quality Sound Guy (engineer / producer).
    Former commercial studio owner.